The Goddess Speaks
An old lady is many things, not all cute
YOUR special section last week, "Young at Heart; It's a Wonderful World," screams for comment from an aging woman.
I am going to be 70 soon. Not 70 years young, but 70 years old. All the euphemisms that deny my many years on this Earth are patronizing. I wouldn't be young at heart again for all the wealth of Bill Gates. In fact, I wouldn't be Bill Gates. Or his wife, or his poor children.
Actually, I have the same heart that I have always had. Maybe I am a bit less of a smart-aleck, but my heart's stroke-volume is far more than it was when I was 25. I can walk farther and carry more than I could then.
ONE DAY in a dentist's chair (not here in Hawaii), the assistant persisted in calling me "cute." I was pushing age 60.
I finally interrupted the procedure and informed the dental team that I have raised a family, divorced, traveled the world alone, and know when I am being patronized. "Cute doesn't do these things."
I didn't mention my fibromyalgia condition. To overkill with protests is tacky.
Yesterday I was on Da Bus, approaching my home stop, and there were some people standing in the aisle between me and the door. I had awkward armsful of heavy shopping loot.
"Old lady coming through!!!" I announced.
A path through the crowd appeared instantly. I felt like Moses at the Red Sea (I have scuba'd the Red Sea, by the way). Being frank and stating my need got faster, better, results than if I had been cute and appealing.
Of course, I said thank you to the folks as I descended the steps.
WHEN the time comes that I may be in a wheelchair, or dependent on a walker, anyone who with inane intent tells me in any way that I am "young," or "cute," or, God forbid, "spry," I swear to the Lord above that I will run them over.
I am trying to decide if my next vacation will be hiking the Alps or rafting the Grand Canyon. I will be over 70 by then.
Please don't congratulate me on these plans. Don't gasp. It is not appropriate.
I really mean it!! DON'T!!
Lots of people hike the Alps and raft the Grand Canyon. I will be just another tourist. You wouldn't pick me out of a crowd in Waikiki ...
I have no plans to ever go gently into that good night. It's going to have to come and get me.
Bev Kai was a nursing student until sidelined by fibromyalgia. She has lived in Hawaii for more than 20 years.
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